When Ibraaheem (‘alaihis salaam) completed the structure of the Ka’aba, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) commanded him to call the people to Haj. Ibraaheem (‘alaihis salaam) pleaded, “O Allah! How shall my voice reach all of those people?” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) told him that his duty was only to give the call and it was up to Allah to make it reach the people. Ibraaheem (‘alaihis salaam) then climbed Mount Arafat and called out in his loudest voice, “O People! Verily Allah has prescribed upon you Haj, so perform Haj.” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) revealed in the Qur’an: “And proclaim the Haj among mankind. They will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways.” (Surah Al-Hajj, Ayat 28). To this very day millions upon millions of Muslims continue to answer the call of Prophet Ibraaheem (‘alaihis salaam).
‘Amr ibn Al-’Aas narrates, “When Islam entered my heart, I went to the Messenger of Allah and said, ‘Give me your hand so that I may pledge allegiance to you.’ The Prophet spread his hand, but I withdrew mine. He said, ‘What is wrong ‘Amr?’ I said, ‘I want to make a condition.’ ‘And what is that?’ he said. I said, ‘That Allah will forgive me.’ Then the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Did you not know that Islam wipes out what came before it, and that Hijrah wipes out what came before it and that Haj wipes out what came before it!” (Sahih Muslim).
Haj is the fifth pillar of Islam. Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) made it compulsory upon every able Muslim male and female to perform it, at least once in a lifetime. Allah revealed: “Haj thereto is a duty mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the journey, but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures” (Surah Ali-Imran, Ayat 97). Performance of the Haj washes away all sins. Abu Hurairah narrates: I heard the Prophet (sallallaah ‘alaihi wa sallam) say, “Whoever performs Haj and does not commit any Rafath (obscenity) or Fusooq (transgression), he returns (free from sin) as the day his mother bore him” (Sahih Bukhari).
Haj is one of the greatest deeds one can accomplish in his or her lifetime.
Abu Hurairah narrates: The Prophet (sallallaah ‘alaihi wa sallam) was asked, “What deed is the best?” He said, “Iman in Allah and His Messenger.” “Then what?” “Jihad in the sake of Allah.” “Then what?” “Haj Mabroor, a Haj accepted by Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala).” Abu Sha’thaa’ said, “I contemplated the good deeds that a person does. I found that salaat as well as fasting are a jihad of the body. And that sadaqa is a jihad of someone’s wealth. But Haj is a jihad of both body and wealth.”
Haj is the greatest jihad.
Aishah (radiallahu ‘anha) asked the Prophet (sallallaah ‘alaihi wa sallam), “We find that jihad is the best deed, shouldn’t we (women) do jihad?” The Prophet replied, “Rather the best jihad is a Haj Mabroor!” Aishah later said, “I’ll never cease performing Haj after I heard that from Rasul Allah” (Agreed Upon).
The dua’a of the one in Haj shall be accepted.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “The soldier in the path of Allah and the one who performs Haj and the one who performs ‘Umrah, all are the delegation of Allah! He called them and they answered. And they asked Him, and He shall grant them (what they ask for)!” (Authentic, narrated by Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban).
In the Islamic history books it was narrated that on the day of Arafat, a man from Turkmenistan stood on the plains of Arafat in Haj. To his left all he could see was Muslims crying and praying to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). To his right all he could see was Muslims crying and praying to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). Because of his native tongue, he could not imitate the lengthy prayers of the others. At this realisation everything blurred in front of him. His face reddened, his eyes poured tears as he raised his hands, “O Allah! Grant me everything that they are asking for! Grant me everything that they are asking for!” And Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) accepted his dua.
There is not a single day that the sun has come up on more beloved to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) than the Day of Arafat.
The Prophet (sallallaah ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “There is no day on which Allah frees more of His slaves from Fire than the Day of Arafat, and He verily draws near, then boasts of them before the angles, saying: ‘What do they seek?’” (Sahih Muslim). And in another hadith: “Verily Allah boasts of the people of Arafat before the people of Heaven (angels) saying: ‘Look to my servants who have come to Me dishevelled and dusty.’” Abdullah ibn Al-Mubaarak narrates: I went to Sufyaan ibn al-Uyaynah as the day of Arafat was setting. He sat on his knees, his hands raised to the Heavens, and tears moistened his cheeks and beard. He turned and looked at me, so I asked him, “Amongst the people who have gathered here for Haj, who is in the worst state?” Sufyaan ibn al-Uyaynah said, “He who thinks that Allah will not forgive him.”
Aishah (radiallahu ‘anha) would see the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) standing in prayer at night so much so that his feet would crack. She would ask him, “Why do you do this when Allah has forgiven all your sins, the past and anything you may do in the future?” And he would reply, “Shouldn’t I be a thankful slave?” With this example of the Prophet (sallallaah ‘alaihi wa sallam), what should our attitude be when we hear of Paradise and forgiveness of sin for those who perform Haj? Does it mean that after Haj we fall back into all the disobedience that we went to Haj with? Does it mean that we are promised Jannah no matter what sin we do after Haj? Many people think this to be the case and it is a very dangerous presumption. You will find in many of the Hadith regarding the virtue of Haj the term Haj Mabroor. Do you know what Mabroor means? It means an accepted Haj. A Mabroor Haj is one in which Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) is not disobeyed during or after. Others have said that a Haj Mabroor is one that is accepted, and the sign of it’s acceptance is that a person will go back in a better state than when he came, and that he will discontinue the sins that were between him and Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala).
When Ibn Umar was on his deathbed and his son reminded him of all the good deeds that he did with the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and the companions, he told him, “Quiet! Don’t you know whom Allah accepts from? Verily Allah only accepts from the God-Fearing (Al-Muttaqoon).” When Ali ibn Al-Husayn (radiallahu ‘anhuma) wore his Ihram towels and sat upright on his camel in preparation for the journey to Makkah, his face changed colour, his skin shivered and he cried, unable to say the Talbiyyah, Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk. Someone asked him, “What’s wrong?” And he replied, “I’m afraid that when I say it, it shall be replied, ‘Laa Labbayka wa Laa Sa’dayk’ (May you never have come and may you not have happiness).”
With that spirit, let us march forward in the search of the Mercy of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) and His forgiveness, to the first house of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) on earth, to Haj.
The Prophet (sallallaah ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “And there is no reward for an accepted Haj...except Jannah!”
Supplicating for parents in the salaah and passing the reward of reading the Qur’an or doing the tawaaf to them
Question: They say that supplicating for the parents in the obligatory prayers is not permissible and nor is passing over to them the reward for completing the Qur’an or the tawaaf.
Response: There is no harm in supplicating in the prayer either for oneself of for one’s parents (or other than them), rather this is legislated. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “The closest a servant is to his Lord is when he is in sujood, so increase in making the supplication (in it)” – narrated by Muslim.
And he (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “As for the rukoo’, then magnify the Lord (in it), and as for the sujood then strive in making the supplication (in it), for it is worthy of being responded to” – also narrated by Muslim.
And in the two Saheehs (of Imaam al-Bukhari and Imaam Muslim), on the authority of Ibn Mas’ood (radhiallahu ‘anhu), that when the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) taught him the tashahhud, he said:
“...then choose a supplication which pleases you and supplicate (with it).”
And in another narration:
“...then choose from that which you desire.”
What is implied here is before the tasleem, so if he supplicates in the sujood or at the end of the prayer, for himself, his parents or the Muslims, there is no harm (in this) for what is mentioned of the generalness of these ahadith and other than them. As for passing the reward for reciting (the Qur’an) or making tawaaf for one’s parents or other than them from the Muslims, then this is an issue where there is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars. That which is better, is to leave this since no evidence exists for its permissibility. Acts of worship are permanently stipulated, so nothing is to be practised unless legislated by the Shari’ah, for the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Anyone who introduces something into this matter of ours (i.e. Islam), that which is not from it, will have it rejected” – this (narration) is agreed upon (by both Imaam al-Bukhari and Imaam Muslim).
And in another narration:
“Anyone who does an act which is not in agreement with us, then he will have it rejected” – narrated by Muslim.
Entering al-Masjid al-Haraam through a particular door, and the supplication upon seeing the Ka’aba
Question: What are the mistakes some pilgrims commit when entering al-Masjid al-Haraam?
Response: From amongst the mistakes that some pilgrims fall into when entering al-Masjid al-Haraam are:
First: That some people think it is imperative, for making Haj or ‘Umrah, to enter through a particular door of al-Masjid al-Haraam. So, for example, some people see that it is necessary for one making ‘Umrah to enter via the door which is called the “Umrah Door” (Baab al-’Umrah) or that this is something that must be done and that it is legislated. Others see that it is imperative to enter via the “Door of Peace” (Baab as-Salaam) and that entering through any other door is a sin or disliked – and there is no evidence for this. So, it is upon the one making Haj or ‘Umrah to enter via any door they wish, and when doing so, extending the right foot first (upon entry) and saying that which is mentioned for entering all masjids. So, he sends his salutations upon the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and says:
“O Allah! Forgive me my sins and open Your Doors of Mercy to me.”
Secondly: Some people innovate certain supplications when entering the al-Masjid al-Haraam and upon seeing the House (Ka’aba). They innovate supplications which have not been mentioned by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and they supplicate to Allah with them. This is an innovation. So the act of worship, for the Sake of Allah, by speech, action or belief which the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) or his companions were not upon, is an innovation and an evil, that which the Messenger of Allah has warned against.
Regarding kissing the Yemeni corner
Question: Is it permissible to kiss the Yemeni corner (of the Ka’aba)?
Response: Kissing the Yemeni corner (ar-Rukn al-Yamaanee) is not confirmed from the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). Any act of worship which is not confirmed from the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is an innovation and not something which draws one near to Allah. So based upon this, it is not legislated for a person to kiss the Yemeni corner since this is not confirmed upon the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). Rather, it has been mentioned in a weak hadith that cannot be used as proof.
Regarding making the talbiyyah as a group in chorus
Question: What is the ruling regarding making the talbiyyah as a group in chorus?
Response: Some of the pilgrims make the talbiyyah as a group in chorus, so one of them is either at the front, middle or behind and makes the talbiyyah whilst all of them follow him in chorus. This has not been mentioned on the authority of (any of) the companions. Rather, Anas Ibn Maalik (radhiallaahu ‘anhu) said:
“We were with the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) (on the Hajj al-Wadaa’ (farewell pilgrimage)) and from amongst us were those who recited “Allaahu Akbar” and those who recited “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah” and those who recited the talbiyyah.”
This is (what has been) legislated for the Muslims, whereby each one then makes talbiyyah on his own without joining together with others.
[Answers by Shaykh Ibn Baaz and Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen]
1. This is a journey that was taken by Prophets and Messengers before you. Those who take the path of the Prophets magnify the tawheed of Allah and His House. There are those, however, who come to perform Haj and their hearts are attached to other than Allah. They invoke the dead and the righteous, whether present or absent. This is the opposite of tawheed, it is Shirk no matter what they call it because it is setting up rivals besides Allah. So, free your intention from any kind of devotion to other than Allah. Repent and come with a sincere heart submitting to Allah remembering what Ibraaheem and his son Ismaa’eel said when they were raising the foundations of Allah’s House, the Ka’aba.
“O our Rabb! Accept from us and make us submit to You in Islam and show us our manaasik (all the rite of Haj) and accept our repentance.” – Qur’an 2:128
2. You are set to depart and you may or may not return to your home. Make this journey to Allah’s House as Allah wants it. Think of the next journey that is surely coming, the one that leads to the meeting of Allah, Most High. This raises questions like: What did I prepare for that Day? Am I following Allah’s Commands? Am I a follower of the Sunnah of Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)? Do I really know of Allah? Am I a believer that Allah is above the seven heavens over His ‘arsh as He has stated in His Book and as His Messengers have asserted? Am I a believer that believes Allah has a true Face that suits His Majesty as He has affirmed in the Qur’an and as has been affirmed by His Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)? Am I believer in all of Allah’s Names, Attributes and Actions which He has affirmed in His Book and by His Messengers? Or do I just take and accept by my doubt, rejecting, or distorting (through what is called figurative interpretation of His Attributes) the meanings of Allah’s Attributes and Actions?
And invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allah, la ilaaha ilaa huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), Everything will perish save His Face, His is the Decision, and to Him (all) shall be returned. – Qur’an 28:88
3. Know, may Allah’s Mercy upon you, that when you reach the meeqaat there is another meeqaat that is still to come. It is the meeqaat (appointed meeting) on the Day of Resurrection:
Say (O Muhammad): (Yes) verily, those of old, and those of later times. All will surely be gathered together for an appointed Meeting of a known Day. – Qur’an 56:49-50
4. When you start saying the talbiyah remember the Command of Allah to Prophet Ibraaheem:
And proclaim to mankind the Haj. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from deep and distant (wide) mountain highways (to perform Haj). – Qur’an 22:27
The talbiyah you make is in response to Prophet Ibraaheem’s proclamation to visit Allah’s house of worship. Allah is Most Great.
5. Upon entering Makkah remember that you are in the Secure Sanctuary:
Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary (Makkah), to which are brought fruits of all kinds, a provision from Ourselves, but most of them know not. – Qur’an 28:57
Let one commit himself to repentance, having a good opinion of Allah, hoping that Allah will grant him security from His Punishment.
6. You will enter one of the gates of al-Masjid al-Haraam. Then there you are before the magnificent House of Allah, Most High, the Ka’aba. Now you see what you hoped to see for a long time. Thank Allah for making this possible and hope that He will grant you the greatest reward of seeing His Majestic Face on the Day of Resurrection. This thankfulness is not just in saying “alhamdu-lillaah,” but also by obeying Allah while on Haj and for the rest of your life.
7. You start your tawaaf knowing that it is a great time for magnifying Allah the Exalted. Remember Him by His Names, Attributes and Actions. Also while in tawaaf try to reflect upon the time when Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was prevented from doing the same thing you are doing today. Then think about what he did in clearing out the site from the symbols signifying worship to other than Allah! All idols were demolished. Busy yourself with du’aa. Ask Allah, the Most Great to make you hold to the correct belief and Path of the salaf and make you die on it. Ask Allah to save you from all forms of Shirk and Bid’ah.
8. While in sa’yi, contemplate on Haajar, the mother of Ismaa’eel, when she asked her husband Ibraaheem: “Did Allah order you to do this (leaving her and her baby Ismaa’eel in Makkah)? He said: “Yes.” Her great response was: “Then He (Allah) will not neglect us!” Think about this great dependence upon Allah when you are in the sa’yi walking the same path which Haajar took in search for water and for the means of life around the mounts of Safa and Marwah. Think about her endurance, perseverance and truth in Allah. The sa’yi exemplifies the strong belief that we are in need for the One Who Sustains and Provides – Allah, the Exalted.
Think about Ibraaheem’s invocation on his way homeward to Palestine:
O our Rabb! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley with no cultivation, by Your Sacred House (the Ka’aba at Makkah); in order, O our Rabb, that they may offer prayers perfectly, so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks. – Qur’an 14:37
Men and fruits came to Makkah from many places. Ibraaheem returned to visit and later to share with his son Ismaa’eel the noble task of raising the foundations of the Ka’aba.
9. The standing on ‘Arafaat is the Haj. The crowds should remind you of the Day of Resurrection. Humble yourself to Allah, manifest your ‘uboodiyyah to Him Alone through du’aa, sincere intention and strong determination to free yourself from the sins of the past and to build up a commitment to rush for doing what is good. Think of becoming a better person when you return. Rid yourself of false pride and showing off because it may ruin what you may gain on this day.
10. You gathered the pebbles and you are about to embark on stoning the jamaraat. This is an act of obedience and remembrance of Allah, Most Magnificent. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “When you cast the small pebbles (ie at the jamaraat), it will be a light for you on the Day of Resurrection.”
11. When performing the sacrifice remember that saying of Allah, the Most High:
It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is your devotion that reaches him. – Qur’an 22:37
12. When you have completed your Haj, do not think that the remembrance of Allah has ended. Listen to what Allah says:
So when you have accomplished your manaasik (ie the rites of Haj) remember Allah as you remember your forefathers or with a far more remembrance. – Qur’an 2:200
Special note: If you go to Madinah then the objective of your visit should be according to the Sunnah and not bid’ah. Your intention is to set on a journey to visit the Prophet’s mosque and not his grave. When you reach the mosque and you pray upon entering then you may go to the grave and say, “As-salaama ‘alayka ayyuhan-nabiyy.” The same salaam is also mentioned when you pass by Abu Bakr and ‘Umar without innovations like:
a. Visiting the grave of the Prophet before praying in the mosque.
b. Making du’aa facing the grave.
c. Seeking nearness to Allah by means of the Prophet. This is a prohibited form of tawassul.
d. Seeking intercession from the Prophet.
e. Placing the hands upon the grills around the room containing the Prophet’s grave to seek blessings, etc.
Remember the Prophet’s sayings: “Do not make my grave an ‘Eid (place of celebration)...
“May Allah’s curse be on the Jews and Christians for taking the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.”
“Those before you took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship. Do not take graves as places of worship for verily I forbid you to do so.”
13. The Haj journey is not meant to gain any material reward. It is a selfless sacrifice solely for Allah, Most Majestic. It demands true love and fear of Him. It should be performed with full consciousness of one’s heart, with full humility and submission to Allah. It should not be thought of as a tourist-type excursion or be performed as mere physical rites. It develops sincerity, piety, humility, self-control, sacrifice, and true knowledge of the meaning of submission and obedience to Allah, Most High. It helps the pilgrim to be a better person who is devoted to Allah in every aspect of life.
PRIOR TO HAJ AND/OR ‘UMRAH THE MUSLIM SHOULD:
1. Purify his creed (‘aqeedah) from any aspects of Shirk, greater or lesser, as Shirk destroys one’s deeds.
2. Devote his Haj purely and sincerely for Allah.
3. Sincerely repent for all of his sins.
4. Acquire knowledge about Haj and its rites.
5. Use halaal (lawful) means to support this great journey, taking what he will require (ie not begging while on Haj to meet his needs).
6. Record all of his debts and include them in his Islamic Will.
7. Relieve himself from any kind of injustice which he may have inflicted upon others.
8. Secure the needs of his family members whom he leaves home.
9. Accompany the knowledgeable and righteous Muslims and stay away from the mubtadi’ah (innovators in deen).
10. Perform salaat on time and as prescribed during the journey and in the Haj period.
11. Safeguard his tongue from backbiting, arguing, complaining, etc.
12. Keep his beard and not shave it for Haj or for any other reason, as this is prohibited.
13. Remember that it is unlawful for men to wear gold (rings included).
Note: The position of the scholars regarding visiting the grave sites by women can be summarised as follows:
a. Disliked but not unlawful
b. Allowable, if done infrequently. If a woman is known as being unable to behave herself within the limits of Shari’ah at a grave site, then she shold be prevented from visiting the graves.
c. Forbidden, and
d. A grave sin
Many scholars state that women visiting the Prophet’s Mosque may pronounce their salaam upon the Prophet away from the grave site since it is confirmed by many ahadith that the salaam is related to the Prophet wherever the person may be. The Prophet is in a state of barzakh ( a state of existence that begins with death and lasts until the Day of Resurrection) the nature of which is only known to Allah.
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